Pulselight Clinic in Fenchurch Street, London kindly offered me to try out tattoo removal using the new Picosure laser.
I say new because Picosure is the latest technology in laser tattoo removal. It works differently to the usual lasers in that it actually obliterates the ink particles in the skin, making it easier for the body to metabolise the ink. In short, it’s the fastest and cheapest tattoo removal laser currently available. The Picosure can also remove any colour within 3-6 treatments, whereas older laser machines would take 10-15 treatments, costly!
I was delighted to be invited to have a small tattoo removed by Pulselight Clinic as I have had a prominent, and in my opinion, quite ugly tattoo on my inner forearm for about a decade.
I got the word “freedom” tattooed on my arm at a tattoo convention in Amsterdam, with a blue star as the “o”. I have always hated this tattoo because it looks like a kid drew on my arm with a marker pen. It’s just has no finesse and I’ve always found it embarrassing. The reason I got it, is because it was my second ever tattoo and I didn’t know much about tattooing back then.
Pulse Light Clinic is easy to find, it’s between Monument or Fenchurch Street stations and when you arrive, you’re asked to take a seat and fill in a health form where you’ll also find some tattoo magazines to peruse while you wait.
My technician was very friendly and went through my form with me asking me questions and answering any that I had for her. I was asked how easily or not easily I normally heal and burn in the sun too. I was then given large green coloured sunglasses to wear before we began.
The technician informed me that it would feel like an elastic band snapping on my skin. I knew that it would hurt, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much. On the first snap, I did jump a little, but because she was holding a pipe that was blowing ice cold air onto the tattoo at the same time, it helped to minimise the pain. Thankfully it’s a small tattoo so it was over very quickly.
This was also just my initial consultation to see how my skin would react to the laser so she just went over the “F’ of my tattoo.
It was over in a matter of seconds before she applied a burn swab to my arm and covered it all with a clear plaster.
The skin goes white immediately but settles down quickly and the burning sensation goes away almost immediately.
I was told to keep it out of the sun and not to scratch it as this could interfere with how the body heals it.
Afterwards, I made a second appointment to come back and do the rest of the tattoo four days later. At the second appointment I had a different technician and the process was pretty much the same although she took the time to blast cold air onto the tattoo after the laser, as you can see in the video below.
I was informed that I can purchase a numbing cream called Emela 5% from Boots and to apply it 2hrs before the session. After the session I was told that each session is only done every 8 weeks, which gives the body time to fully metabolise the broken down particles. The technician reckoned it would take 4-6 sessions to remove my tattoo.
It’s been a week since and there has been considerable fading of the blue parts of the tattoo but not so much of the black. I was told that it depends on how many times the tattoo artist went over the same area, or if there was any scarring when healing, which means it could take longer as there is more ink to disperse.
For the week after the first session I was to apply vaseline to the area and only felt a slight itching, but mostly from my arm hairs growing back, which you are told to shave before you go. Be sure to shave a large area around the tattoo as peeling the plaster off any hairs is quite painful!
Pulse Light Clinic‘s fees for tattoo removal are very affordable and they also offer a payment plan.
All in all, I was in and out within 15mins, you could do this in your lunch break! I live in the east of England but it was still very easy for me to get in and out of London in the middle of the day, I just drove to Upminster station, paid £2.70 for parking for the day, jumped on the train to Fenchurch Street, walked a couple minutes to Pulse Light Clinic and missed out on congestion charges and trying to find parking in the City.
Stay tuned for the next session! Got questions? Hit me up in the comments below 🙂
This post in collaboration with Pulse Light Clinic, London.